New at Role/Reboot: Matt on Heroism, Masculinity and Elementary School

Matt teaching elementary school in Peru

You think you know fear?

I was only knee-deep in icy seawater, but that was enough. Beside me, a half-dozen anxious Moms formed a loose human chain. We were trying to cordon off a horde of 6-year-olds, cheerfully running amok at the water’s edge. My eyes flicked around the shoreline, trying to keep track of each and every child. I’d been teaching for less than a year and the safety of these happy, heedless kids was my responsibility.

You think you know fear? Try taking a class of 1st graders to the beach.

This week on Role/Reboot, you can see my piece The Man Without Fear: Heroism and Elementary School.

In my twenties, I moved from academia to teaching elementary school and suddenly found myself in charge of a classroom, a 6-foot-tall guy with a Ph.D., surrounded by 5-year-olds. It was one of the most challenging, and rewarding, roles of my life.

There’s more thoughts on masculinity, heroism and men as elementary educators over at

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